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  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,873
    Continuing from the previous discussion...Yeah, c'mon... when I think "high-end," I think, "kirstie_h cannot afford this vehicle." Trust me, I can afford the RAV4. I can even afford the X3.

    Is it features, price, what? If either of the above-mentioned vehicles is included, I obviously don't get it. Enlighten me (and entertain me, if possible).

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  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    HMMMMM? Let me count the ways!

    One, the car must be of high opulance, in that it makes the owner feel better about driving it over a car that costs $30-50k cheaper.

    Altho some may typically disagree, I think having a strong pedigree infuses the luxury car to be just that much more luxurious as with past experiences comes knowledge. The two oldest marques in this class can attest to that statement.

    The car must also, giving this day and age, be a technological tour de force(or headache, what have you). Offering the latest in electronic controls, fussy driver interfaces, the latest powertrain tricks, and all of the gadgets from making the car come to a complete stop on it's own to actually making the car steer into a parallel parking spot all it's own.

    Exclusivity: I can't preach this enough. Most will also disagree with this, but the true luxury car doesn't sell in astronimical volume, and is very rarely discounted(end-of-cycle at the most).

    Style: With all of the makers nowadays one-upping each other in the subjective style department, you have to find a signature look just to even get noticed. Even the frumpy 6/7-Series is successful due in most part to a look like none other(for good or bad). I even applaud Lexus for not stepping to far out of the LS' comfort zone and not disconnecting it's customer base by designing a model they can't relate to. The same goes for the domestics, witnessed by the new DTS that looks like the one from 7 years ago, and the Lincoln TC that's easily identified, no doubt due to a shape that's nearly a decade old.

    Refinement: This is one of the hard points that separate the good, bad, and ugly. But I have to say, nowadays the cars in this upper-crust crowd are very refined, may it be domestic, European, or Japanese. But customers in this arena demand a car that is ineptly refined to the point that the car is like a moving piece of comfortable furniture.

    Power: And this is another big one. Nowadays, you can't come to the party without 350hp or more. The norm is now approaching 400hp, and this even goes for the big SUV's(Caddy Escalade-403hp/GMC Denali-380hp), and it's going to get even more competitive. But hp is only half of the story. Within making choices for powertrains in a particular model, in light of the energy conservative conscious customer, you also must bring fuel effeciency. You have MB working on the S-Class specific Bluetec. BMW and Audi both will bring their respective "ultra clean" 4.0L V8 TurboDiesels to the states before each is redone, altho only available in 45 states until the next model line.

    And with all that said, it also must reward the buyer by assuring that person that you just made the decision of your life. Well, it was hard for me to find such a car, until I discovered Audi's little secret, the W12. And now with MB's S600, I'm probably the happiest fella on this board, altho I don't have a Lotus or 911. :P ;)
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    A truly high end vehicle is an over-achiever, setting or coming close to the highest standards in numerous vehicle attributes.

    Some of these attributes include luxury, performance, styling, materials and workmanship, innovations, uniqueness, and presence.

    In addition, the driver and/or passenger(s) of such a vehicle have a true sense of driving or riding in a special vehicle.

    The attributes that are indicated each have further characteristics or ingredients for achieving excellence. For example, luxury requires the proper execution of quality materials . . . and performance requires engine, transmission, and suspension combinations to deliver a superior ride quality. Uniqueness and presence, for example, means that the vehicle projects an image of having a special nature to it and stands out above what is otherwise typical.

    I do not believe there are necessarily hard-fast and specific measureable distinctions, such as minimum vehicle size or horsepower, as there are vehicles that prove themselves to be high end that do not meet what might be such expected requirements. For example, the Porsche 911 is clearly a high-end vehicle, but it is not the larger vehicle that one might visualize for a high-end vehicle. Also, the Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas, for example, does not have massive HP, yet it is clearly a high end vehicle. So, it would seem that absolute measureable criteria can not easily be applied.

    A high end vehicle's styling is often inspiring, and at-a-glance will quicken the pulse, or cause admiration for its beautiful body lines . . . it can even be genuinely captivating.

    It is easy enough to see that models from Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Jaguar, Bentley, Maseratti, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, and Porsche can be considered high end, as they all easily have many of the attributes to be considered as such.

    Some might consider Lincoln and Cadillac as high end, but there is a subjective nature as to where one makes the distinction, as there is plenty of gray area here . . . enough gray area that some might even consider models from Acura and Infiniti as qualified to be considered high end.

    IMO, when there are considerable questions about a vehicle's status as high end, then those questions themselves are a fair indication that those particular vehicles are in all likelihood not truly high end.

    Generally, a true high end vehicle doesn't raise too many questions about its merits. It is just obvious enough, and that in itself is one of the identifying attributes of a true high end vehicle.

    It somehow makes itself known . . . it has an aura of heightened value . . . better known as . . .mystique.

    TagMan
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,326
    A truly high end vehicle is one that costs more than you can afford, but lives up to it's cost by justifying it's price in all facets of itself.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    What features would you expect in this vehicle?
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,326
    To me "features" means gimmicks and unless the overall quality is present, gimmicks don't make quality. Navigation as an example, is just another gimmick. If you are not educated to read a map you are not educated to have a position of professionality enabling you to afford an up scale car. Park itself gimmick gets the same reaction as when the automatic transmission was first installed in sports cars. Eight speed automatic is just another gimmick.
    A high end motorcar has class not a clutter of gadgets.
  • I think to consider a car "truly high end" you can take away the justification. For instance, you could say that a CTS-V is a high end American sports sedan. You have to say "American sports sedan" for it to stick, so its not a truly high end vehicle. The Sonata Limited Platinum Edition is a high end Sonata, not a high end vehicle.

    These may not be high end vehicles, but they show us how to find them. These are the best vehicles in their categories (American sports sedan, Sonata), so a truly high end vehicle has to be the best vehicle with no justification of price or category.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    Luxury is so many things. Luxury is style. Luxury is exclusivity. Luxury is knowing that you'll be safe in all conditions. Luxury is high craftsmanship. Luxury is having a car that not everyone might notice, but a car that will always be one of the best you'd ever own.

    I feel that so many cars fit this bill. We're driving a few of them on Tuesday (Jaguar XJ and Audi A8, for instance), and because I am an Audi guy, I have a feeling the wife will end up with an A8, and I couldn't be happier. The interior is breathtaking, the exterior stunning, but in an understated way, and the performance is the best in this class (in handling, not outright speed). It's just so hard to choose here. We're not getting an S-Class (too big, too expensive, too thirsty), and the 7 Series seems to business-ish for her. She has a Lexus now, and she is completely against getting another one, mostly because of their popularity (exclusivity is a key factor here)- hence, we're left with the Jaguar XJ8 and the Audi A8 4.2 quattro, both non-L versions.

    Luxury is knowing you'll be happy with your car as long as you own it. Luxury is peace of mind.

    -esf-

    '06 Audi A3 2.0T DSG • '05 Audi S4 Cabriolet • '04 Lexus RX330
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    Being able to buy a reliable car you look good in that looks good to you, has the sound system you want, the interior environment you want, and the number of seats you want without regard to the price of gas or insurance...priceless!
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    Keep us posted on your process. I too am exiting a Lexus LS430 and don't want another. I am passing on the S Class even though I really liked the last generation which I thought was the best riding car I've ever driven. The new one is too soft and Lexus like. I tested the A8 and didn't love it, hey but that's me. I also tested the XJ8 and I can't quite make up my mind about it. I loved the styling and it was very luxurious but the ride wasn't great and somehow it felt a bit like a Town Car to me. Maybe its the overboosted steering and some cheap plastic parts on the inside that must be out of the Ford bin. But there's also a lot to like. Great gas mileage, light weight body, exclusive and not one million on the road.I may look at it again since it's the "Big Cat" and it is special to me.
    You should try the BMW 7.
    It's the best drivers car of the bunch and yet it's still very smooth and quiet and it has THE most comfortable seats and THE best steering. You have to like techno stuff, though, and be willing to put in a bit of time to learn I-drive. With the new lease deals, I'm going to check one out soon. If the price is right it's a real bargain compared to the others. (by the way, I always ask chauffeurs and luxury hotel courtesy car drives, what is their favorite car to drive (most 4 Seasons etc have S Class, 7 Series, A8's in their fleet) and in my "unofficial poll", the 7 wins by a big margin. Guys who drive for a living like it best. If you didn't love the Lexus (I didn't) and you love to drive (I do), check out the Bimmer. Keep me posted, have fun and good luck.
  • Great post Topspin!

    I don't dispute your assessment of the 7, but keep in mind the chauffeurs don't have to pay maintenance on them, LOL!
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    And the good thing is that consumers don't pay ANY maintainance on BMWs for 4 years. It's the best deal in the business. Even breaks are covered. I had an X5 and it cost me $0 in upkeep for 3 year lease.
  • high end can be expensive and boring like a bentley gt a rather boring vehicle. it drives like a sedan deville. my cl 63 really rips it up but its not as quick as my wife's ml 63 which is a really rocket when not loaded with gasoline. you hit the gas and it feels like the front end is going to lift and you can feel the frame twist. the cl 63 is not as loose as the ml. i did have a cls 55 with a blower but it had bad turbo lag. the cl drives like a big car it is quiet inside and luxourios the back up camera is excellent and all the control are through the screen and mouse. i really like my cl 63. i had a 2002 cl 600 which was not as fast but it was loose. i live in downtown chicago and i hit a pot hole and had an impact break. the tire lost all but 3lbs of air and i was able to limp home to my gararge. mercedes sent a truck to put the donut on. benz charge 400 dollars for one front tire. the tire costs 299 at tire rack but i had no choice. i like the cl 63 tire pressure monitor because it displays the pressure in each tire. i have had the car since september. i ordered it october 2007 so it was almost a year wait but it was worth it. the car gave me sticker shock it was 140k but it is worth every penny. the rear end does not look as good as the front end. one feature i like is the new navigaiton system which has real time traffic it show cars in red and yellow and were the pockets of congestion are located it is reallly awesome and the satelite radio lets me get my dose of jason ellis on faction or octane.
  • bmlexusbmlexus Posts: 755
    Really enjoyed reading your message. Ur ml63 amg is faster than cl63amg thats a big shock to hear you really have some nice cars.Whats the 0 to 60 for the ml and cl.

    I saw a black cl63amg yesterday it is 1 great car very nice, I heard this is the best cl even better than cl65amg I am sure you checked all the other cl before picking the cl63amg.

    Is the cl63amg more smoother than the ml i am sure it is.

    I have notice whenever i see a ml 63 going fast it has a truck kind of sound like brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Didn't consider the cayenne turbo or the new x5 rather than the ml63amg.

    Do you have any other high end cars,I guess you really like the mercedes cars.

    These 2 cars are really great ml63amg and cl63amg . keep posted.

    thanks.
  • Having owned way to many cars over the past 20 years of driving, and most of them being American or Japanese cars I can tell you what makes a high end car. Its when you sit in a car and without even turning the car on you feel right away that the factory who built this car took their time, they paid attention, they cared about the product they were putting out! I recently test drove a 1999 S-500 which in my opinion was the last of the great S classes. At 13 years old this car was still turning heads going down the road. At 13 years old this car felt and drove nicer than a lot of one and two year old cars i had checked out. Or how about this, Most American or Mexi/Canada cars start to squeak and rattle at about 50K miles. I have been in German and Swedish cars with over 250K miles on them and the car was as tight as a drum! To me its not all about the gadgets but more about the attention to detail! S-Class, 7 Series, A8, and the Italians all know this. Does it cost more? Hell Yes, but at the end of the day a 13 year old Mercedes is still a Mercedes and a 13 year old Chevy, Ford, Honda, Toyota is just Old!
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